Frequently Asked Questions
There are a variety of reasons including fruits or vegetables that were:
- had “bad” spots, already beginning to decay
- blossom ends (pickling cukes – especially important!) weren’t removed
- leaving out at room temperature, especially when over 72F, so mold develops
- stored too long in warehouse or in root cellars
- immature – picked too early so not enough sugar/starch development
- infested with fruit flies
Here are some technical fermentation reasons why spoilage occurs:
- not enough salt
- food is sticking above the brine
- initial fermentation occurred when temperatures were too warm – above 72F
- initial fermentation occurred when temperatures were too cool – below 68F
- not stored in a cool place – root cellar, basement or refrigerator
- not skimming “scum” or “pancake” waxy-style yeast growth from top of brine
- fermenting container wasn’t sterile
- using ground spices instead of using whole spices
- old spices which had fungus spores
- using iodized salt
- using chlorinated or fluorinated water
Failures are good for experience. When dealing with living-food, just like with all other living-creatures, you can expect a wide variety of experiences and variables! Unlike their dead-nutrient, pasteurized counterparts which have nothing to offer as far as living nutrients, enzymes, probiotic benefits, fermented foods are worth the journey of learning! Don’t be discouraged!
Did you know...
Records of the construction of the Great Wall of China, built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), refer to fermented cabbage as a staple food for workers building the wall.
—Sauerkraut Built Great Wall of China
Brilliant. Easy to use. Beautiful design. Just brilliant….
—Tom C. - Texas